Zinc oxide (ZnO, n-type) and copper oxide (CuO, p-type) nanowires have been synthesized and preliminarily investigated as innovative materials for the fabrication of a proof-of-concept thermoelectric device. The Seebeck coefficients, electrical conductivity and thermoelectric power factors (TPF) of both semiconductor materials have been determined independently using a custom experimental set-up, leading to results in agreement with available literature with potential improvement. Combining bundles of ZnO and CuO nanowires in a series of five thermocouples on alumina leads to a macroscopic prototype of a planar thermoelectric generator (TEG) unit. This demonstrates the possibility of further integration of metal oxide nanostructures into efficient thermoelectric devices.
30 Jun 2014
Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Pages: 927-936
Beilstein journal of nanotechnology